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Clinical Accuracy Spoken Here
Obesity and Cancer Risk Women who are considered obese are more likely than non-obese women to develop cancer. A key challenge for case managers may be to incorporate into patient communication an acknowledgement of the social and societal environments that are influencing their patient population. Reversing trends in obesity is an overriding national goal. It is also one that case managers are in a position to facilitate through their one-on-one interaction and rapport with patients. Athena Forum, Obesity Management Course, Module A. www.athenaforum.com

Autoimmune Diseases difficult to Diagnose

Organ-specific autoimmune diseases are characterized by immune-mediated injury localized to a single organ or tissue, for example, the pancreas in Type 1 diabetes and the central nervous system in multiple sclerosis.
In contrast, non-organ-specific diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, are characterized by immune reactions against many different organs and tissues, which may result in widespread injury.
Autoimmune diseases can affect any part of the body and have myriad clinical manifestations that can be difficult to diagnose. At the same time, autoimmune diseases share some features related to their onset and progression.

Athena Forum, RA: Module A, Prevalence and Pathophysiology
Excellence in Case Mgmnt
Evidence-Based Methodology: Greater Efficiencies, Better Outcomes

Clinical pathways and protocols are not the same thing. A clinical pathway may contain protocols and guidelines, but unless the pathway has a mechanism for recording variations/deviations from planned care/activities when used as the record of patient care, then it is not a true clinical pathway. The transition to Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) protocols is currently under way, and hospitals have updated their pathways accordingly. While scant evidence suggests that the traditional variance tracking processes led to improved care or better clinical outcomes, the literature does suggest that the evidence-based methodology has resulted in greater efficiencies and better patient outcomes. However, case managers should be aware that other evidence suggests that procedure-specific pathways are not cost-effective tools.

[Reference: Athena Forum, Patient Advocacy Course, Module B]

In the Headlines . . .
HB-Chip has Potential to Revolutionize Cancer Care

NIBIB "Quantum Grant" investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital have successfully developed a test capable of detecting a single cancer cell among the billions of normal cells in a simple blood sample. Testing will start later this year.
The microchip device, known as the HB-Chip, enables the isolation of tumor cells that are circulating in the bloodstream; subsequent characterization can potentially determine the type, severity and aggressiveness of a wide range of cancers. Detecting the presence of these tumor cells in blood samples is analogous to a "liquid biopsy" of the most critical of cancer cells—those that are in the process of spreading via the bloodstream. Their presence signals early events leading to metastasis and also serves as a monitor for treatment efficacy. The device has the potential to revolutionize the management of care in cancer patients. NIH Record, Vol. LXIII, No. 2, 1.21.11.

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JSPH & Athena Forum – Partners in Chronic Care
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Managing chronic illness is the key to true healthcare reform.

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The Jefferson School of Population Health’s online Master of Science in Chronic Care Management (MS-CCM) stresses chronic illness prevention and wellness, integrates evidence-based guidelines, includes behavioral health concerns, and appreciates cultural and individual variation.
The program prepares leaders to critically analyze, design, implement and evaluate systems to improve chronic illness prevention and care management across various health care settings and populations

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The look of confidence
  CM Excellence® Series: 
  » Principles of Case
  » Patient Advocacy
  » Utilization Management
  » Discharge Planning
  » Hospital Revenue Cycle

  Clinical Series: 
  » Asthma
  » Behavioral Health
  » Colorectal Cancer
  » COPD
  » CV Risk: Stroke & MI
  » Diabetes
  » EOL & Palliative
  » GI Disorders
  » Heart Failure
  » Multiple Sclerosis
  » Obesity Management
  » Pain Management
  » Rheumatoid Arthritis
  » Women’s Health



Cathy Wright Cathy Wright, BSN, RN
Clinical Editor
Athena Forum


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